Date Uploaded: 28/03/2016
They are being squeezed out of the two-year postgraduate, Professional Master of Education (PME) that would qualify them to teach. The 'Striking the Balance' report says any shortage of STEM graduates on PMEs is not because of lack of applicants, but because they don't score sufficiently highly on the system used for entry.
The applications system used by UCD, UCC, NUIG and Maynooth University, accounting for 75pc of newly-qualified post primary teachers, scores applicants three ways:
There is no recognition for the fact that STEM degrees are usually four years, while arts degrees are usually three. An advantage for arts graduates is that they can get an additional qualification in the time it takes a STEM student to complete an undergraduate degree.
In one university that accepted 120 PME students in 2014 and 2015, only five were STEM graduates compared to an annual average of 30 in the previous decades.
Journalist: Katherine Donnelly